AWS EC2 is a compute service provided by Amazon that provides remote server computing that is secure with a scalable capacity in the AWS cloud. It provides raw, dedicated and resizable virtual computing resources that have remote access. EC2 stand for Elastic Cloud Compute. It is one of the most used services of Amazon that lets users launch and manage server instances as and when required.

Need for Amazon EC2

In the initial stage of development, it is difficult to speculate the amount of hardware resources required. Then, it may take weeks to purchase and provision server hardware when the demand increases, and the servers may sit idle when the demand reduces. In such cases Amazon EC2 comes into existence, it provides scalable computing capacity in the AWS (Amazon Web services) cloud and enables to increase or decrease the server capacity within minutes with full administrative control.

Amazon EC2 Concept – Basic Terminologies

AMI (Amazon Machine Image)

An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a template that contains a software configuration (for example, an operating system, an application server, and applications). An instance is launched from an AMI that is a duplication of the AMI running as virtual server in cloud.


An instance is a virtual server in the Amazon cloud for running applications. These instances are scalable in terms of computing power and memory; hence making it possible to create an entire virtual server over the cloud. In a few minutes time, the instances are up and running with full administrative control. Different types of instances can be launched from a single AM


Amazon EC2 is hosted in various locations of the world. These locations consist of regions, where each region is a separate geographic area and are completely independent of one another. Amazon EC2 facilitates the provisioning of data and resources, such as instances in multiple locations.

Availability Zones (AZs)

These are collection of isolated data centres(locations) within a region. The AZs within a region are connected through fast, low latency network links. An Availability Zone is represented by a region code followed by a letter identifier; example us-east-1a. The resources must provision across multiple AZs to ensure availability of resources in case of AZ failure.

Amazon EC2 Key Pairs

The objective of securely accessing the instances is achieved by encrypting and decrypting the login information, public key cryptography is used by Amazon EC2 to serve the purpose.

Security Groups

These provide security at the protocol and port access level and act as a virtual firewall that controls the traffic for one or more instances.

Amazon EC2 Instance Type

General Purpose

These instance types provide a balanced set of compute, memory and networking resources with high level of processing performance.

Storage Optimized

These instances are designed for providing high disk I/O performance i.e. workloads with large datasets that require high read and write access.

Memory Optimized

These instances are for delivering large memory sizes for memory intensive applications that require high throughput.

Compute Optimized

These instances have more CPU resources than memory and hence are useful for compute dependent applications like batch-processing workloads, high performance web servers and scientific modelling.

GPU Enabled

These instances are useful for applications that require high parallelized processing. They provide graphics processing units along with high CPU and network performance suitable for rendering and media processing applications.

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Disclaimer: I am the author at PLM ECOSYSTEM, focusing on developing digital-thread platforms with capabilities across CAD, CAM, CAE, PLM, ERP, and IT systems to manage the product data lifecycle and connect various industry networks. My opinions may be biased. Articles and thoughts on PLMES represent solely the author's views and not necessarily those of the company. Reviews and mentions do not imply endorsement or recommendations for purchase.